Cultured Butter: the truth about senioritis


Jacob Nedder

As I’ve been going through my senior year here at PHS, I’ve realized that senior year is very different from any other year of high school. Homework is assigned to be finished by a week or more later. Tests come up, and I need to do my own work to determine how to study. And day to day classwork is far less structured than anything I’ve been in before. Maybe it’s just the classes I’m taking, but everything this year feels much more freeform, and less about daily work.

This causes a bit of a problem, as in almost all of my classes prior to senior year everything was set up to be clearly due immediately. I’d get a homework assignment in math, and I’d be expected to have it done by the next day. I’d check the calendar in American Lit and see every day laid out in full. Now, I’m given assignments in Calculus that are too long to be done in one day. In Engineering Design and Development (EDD), my group is expected to figure out our own schedule. Nothing is “due” until the end of the year. Assignments are handed out in advance, and I’m left to my own devices to get them done in time.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about this structuring style. Having classes work like this is much closer to what I’m going to experience in college and the world, and it’s good to be prepared now. What I have a bit of a problem with is how long it’s taken for this style of class to come up. For all of my education, from kindergarten to sophomore year, everything has not been this loose. I understand that it’s important to give kids structure early in life, but I think that classes shouldn’t wait until kids’ last two years before college to start showing kids what college-structured classes are like. I know my study habits are going to need some major improvements, but I don’t have bad study habits because I’m lazy, I have them because I didn’t need good study habits to get good grades.

I think that’s where senioritis comes from, at least for me. I haven’t suddenly lost interest in school; I’ve just had to widen my focus abruptly. When everything has been assigned at most a week in advance, hearing that I need to get something done by the end of the month doesn’t really have meaning. I need to manage my time differently, and making that change is not a simple process. I think it would be a good idea to start exposing kids to this kind of scheduling in classes sooner than we do now. While I can’t speak for everyone, it certainly would have helped me.